- February 6, 2023
- Posted by: Planet Goa Team
- Category: Culture & Art, Festivals
Date: 6th February 2023 | Text & Images: Nidhi LallThe Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) is an annual literary festival in Goa. The International Centre, Goa (ICG) organises the event in association with the Goa Writers’ Group, with support from the Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Goa.
The 11th edition of the Goa Arts and Literary Festival opened on January 17, 2023, at the International Centre Goa (ICG). The event’s prominent focus was on Goa’s state language and literature throughout its agenda. The event also celebrated the 2022 Jnanpith Award winner, Damodar Mauzo, the festival co-founder and co-curator.
GALF 2023 – Festival Rendezvous
The festival was inaugurated with the keynote address by the 2019 Nobel Prize Winner for Economics, Professor Abhijit Banerjee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Goan military hero Major General Ian Cardozo. The inaugural evening continued with the launch of noted Konkani writer and public intellectual Uday Bhembre’s latest novel, Vhoddlem Ghor.
The GALF 2023 agenda revolves around exciting book launches, presentations, panel discussions, and films.
It also included separate sessions for Major General Ian Cardozo’s acclaimed memoir Cartoos Saab: A Soldier’s Story of Resilience in Adversity and Professor Banerjee’s brilliant new cookbook (along with illustrator Cheyenne Olivier), Cooking to Save Your Life. Other distinguished delegates include the superb poet/novelist Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, next-gen publisher Trisha Niyogi, pioneering indie publisher Arpita Das Ribeiro, highly-regarded Bangladeshi novelist Iffat Nawaz, and Goa’s filmmaker Bardroy Barretto.
The event also unveiled artist Nirupa Naik’s composed painting at the inaugural ceremony. Nirupa was the only female among the first batch of students when the Goa College of Arts, Panjim, was incepted in 1984. She is a much sought-after artist with numerous solo and group shows around the country to her credit.
Melodious Finale to GALF 2023
The 11th Goa Arts and Literature Festival 2023 came to a close on January 19, 2023, at the Laran Amphitheatre Lawns, ICG. The guest of the evening was Goan pop music icon Remo Fernandes, who mesmerised the audiences with his music in the closing ceremony. He did a medley of his memorable hits like ‘Maria Pitache’, ‘Undir Mama Aiylo’, ‘O Meri Munni’, and ‘Bombay City’ which gave the finale an upbeat ending. The peppy number Maria Pitache made the audience sing ‘Ya Ya Maya Ya’ along with him.
In a conversation with Vivek Menezes, co-curator of the festival, Remo discussed his autobiography, “Remo”. He also talked about his childhood memories during pre-liberation Goa, Panjim of the Portuguese era in the 1950s, and his architecture studies in Mumbai. He shared his backpacking journey across Europe, his homecoming in the early 1980s, and his eventful musical career.
Since its inception in 2010, the unique homegrown volunteer-driven and non-profit Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) has slowly emerged as one of India’s premier art and culture showcases.
GALF was a celebrated idea developed by the late Eunice de Souza, a renowned poet of Goan origin, that there are ‘different ways of belonging’. GALF aimed to keep the spotlight on writers and artists from Goa, the North-East states, Kashmir, and places like Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Even though it is a small and budgeted event, GALF has become a platform where some of India’s and the world’s best writers and poets come together. It has indeed become the epitome of India’s arts and literature.